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“Upon Me, Let This Iniquity Be”
Hank Helps Podcast
by Hank Smith
©copyrighted under Our Turtle House and Jumping Turtle, LLC
Watch or listen to the full episode here: Upon Me Let This Iniquity Be (Hank Helps Podcast)
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Welcome to another episode of Hank Helps!
I want to do something today called What The Manual Misses and that’s because in our Come, Follow Me manual that we’re studying the Old Testament, we can’t study every every chapter. But there are some stories that we shouldn’t miss that sometimes we do, and I thought we’d hit one of those today.
The Conflict of David and Nabal
The story is of a heroic woman named Abigail and if I had my way she would be better known in the church.
This is 1 Samuel, chapter 25. David is king. He’s at the height of his reign. He is expanding Israel’s borders and thriving. He’s doing really well and the people of Israel are doing really well because of David being king. The sin with Bathsheba and Uriah has yet to happen.
Well, there’s this man who’s very rich who lives near Mount Carmel. (This is chapter 25 verse 2.) The man was very great: he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and he was shearing his sheep there. Now, the man’s name is Nabal and his wife’s name is Abigail. She was a woman of good understanding and a beautiful countenance, but the man was, it says, “curlish” I think that’s how you say it. It means he’s rude and evil in his doings.
So David sends messengers to Nabal and he says hey when your shearers were by my Army, we protected them, we helped them. Now I need a favor from you I need some of the wool you are shearing for your sheep for my armies.
Now when the king asks you for something, you give it. Right?
But look how Nabal responds.
Two Egos Get Rocked
He says “Who is David?” (This is verse 10.) “Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays that will break every man from his master. Shall I take my bread and my water and my flesh?” Right, he wants him to feed his servants. And he says, “I’m not going give any wool to David. I’m not going to give my food to David or water to David or his men. I’m going to do that.”
So he’s really rude and David is upset. He is, like, “why don’t we go out there and take care of Nabal.” So the idea here is that if you’re not a friend to the king, the opposite of a friend to the king which Nabal says, “I’m not your friend” is his enemy. What is the king do to his enemies? Right? So here comes David he is going to go down and he’s going to lay waste to Nabal and his house.
Again you might be, like, “David’s being a jerk here, too.” Well, yeah probably, but either way, both egos have been rocked here and now it’s who’s going to win? Nabal or David.
So here comes David. Picture him with armies behind him saying, “I’ll show you what happens when you mess with the king.” Then you’ve got Nabal saying, “Bring it on. I’ll show you what happens when when you mess with Nabal.”
Then Abigail hears.
Abigail Makes Haste
One of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife (in verse 14) “David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master and he railed on them” (it actually said that he railed on them!). He says, “but the men were good to us and we weren’t hurt and they protected us and they would talk with us while we were in the fields and, man, I think we are in huge trouble.”
So, Abigail made haste.
She made 200 loaves of bread and got two bottles of wine and five sheep ready to be killed and corn and raisins and cakes and she puts all of this together with this big gift and she rode out in front of David. She basically throws herself on her face (in verse 23) in front of David.
Remember the Savior doing this in the Garden of Gethsemane? Falling on his face?
She throws herself to the ground and fell at his feet and said in 1 Samuel 25:24-28:
Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
She says, “please let the sin be upon me. I’ll make it up to you. Here’s this gift and please forgive me for this sin.” It’s really the sin of Nabal that she’s asking for forgiveness for and David decides to forgive her and not and not destroy the house and all of that.
A Christ-like Figure
All right so I want you to see Abigail as this Christ-figure who, when someone hurts us and offends us and here we go to take our vengeance, which is right. They did something wrong and they deserve to be hurt, right? They deserve what’s coming to them. And the Lord comes to us and says “upon me upon me let this iniquity be.” Please forgive me.
In essence the Lord says: That shouldn’t have happened. What that person did to you was wrong and terrible. Forgive them by forgiving me.
Here Abigail is a Christ-like figure saying, “I’ll stand between you and this person who hurt you and I will take on the sin so you can forgive someone who is not asking for forgiveness. I’ll ask for forgiveness on behalf of them even though they’re not asking for forgiveness.
I mean, it’s such a beautiful story. I love Abigail and hopefully you’ll go give this chapter a look in 1 Samuel 25. Go mark some of verses 24 and verse 28 and then think about some of the conflicts you have in your life. President Nelson has asked us to get rid of conflict, right? How can this Christ-figure help you understand how the Savior, himself, can help rid you of that conflict?
All right, my friends. Come back next time and we’ll do another edition, another episode of Hank Helps. Maybe we will do this again, the things the manual misses. I’ll look into that okay we’ll talk soon. Bye-bye.